Celebrating Valentine’s Day on the road

It’s Valentine’s Day. Some people are snuggling up to their lovers, indulging in a day meant just for them with glasses of champagne, chocolate hearts and all the gooey goodness the holiday stands for. Others are stridently pretending it’s just any other day, ignoring the lovey messages, big red hearts and teddy bears in order to avoid the hype or their own loneliness (or both). And still others are celebrating themselves, taking the day as an opportunity to toast their single status and show themselves some love.

Little Mermaid Valentine

Photo via Buzzfeed

If you’re one of those who happens to be celebrating in one way or the other, you’ll know that it can be a bit tough to mark holidays while traveling, if only because you’ve lost track of the dates or are in a place that doesn’t do Valentine’s Day quite like the United States does, where the holiday is shoved down your throat for months leading up to it.

But there are plenty of ways to mark the day, wherever you are in the world.

If you have a special someone to be your Valentine, a romantic dinner is never a bad way to go. If you’re in any major city, splash out and  check out one of its finer establishments. As anyone who has traveled for an extended period knows, your daily appearance can become a bit, well, grungy. Take the occasion as an opportunity to break out your nicer outfits, clean up and spend a night on the town at a well-reputed eatery and classy cocktail bar.

Should you find yourself in a more rural area, why not go for a romantic picnic? Pack up some of the native fare – and some local moonshine to boot – and set up a nice spread for two.

If the idea of a Valentine’s Day meal sounds a little tired, the beauty of traveling is that there are always adventures waiting to be had. Plan a trip to a spot in the city you’ve heard about but haven’t made time to see yet, check out an interesting art exhibit or plan a night away in the country for a memorable way to spend the holiday.

Valentine’s Day tends to be a subject of controversy among those who are celebrating solo – some embrace being single and shout it from the rooftops; for others, it’s a bitter reminder of past loves or the difficulty they’re having finding a new one. I’m of the belief that whatever the case, Valentine’s Day is a nice opportunity to show yourself some love, regardless of the feelings the holiday brings up. Especially when traveling, there are plenty of ways to treat yourself. Take yourself out for dinner and a few glasses of wine (my personal favorite) or head out and hear some live music and go dancing. Find some fellow travelers and organize a happy hour, because really, who can ever turn that down? Or get out of town and see a landmark, village, monument or other sight you’ve been putting off. Giving yourself something new to marvel at will take your mind off not having a valentine, at least for the time being.